Volunteering in Norway: new people + nature = fun

October 10, 2014
Alex

Ximena, a 32-year-old business woman from Santiago, Chile, is loving her experience as a social volunteer for Bergen Hostel Montana in western Norway. So what inspired her to help hostel guests on a Norwegian hillside?

Ragna Skøien from HI – Norway spoke to her to find out:

“Nobody told me hiking could be fun!” Ximena said with a big smile.

Sheep

Sheep selfie

One of three social volunteers at hostels dotted across western Norway, she joins Sonia from Bolivia and Anneke from Germany in organising outdoor activities stimulating a social environment for guests.

“I wanted to do something for others, to volunteer. Here in Norway I have had the opportunity to get to know a lot of interesting new people and be the meeting point between hostel guests from all over the world.”

On her arrival, Ximena spent 3 weeks at Bergen Hostel Montana, located on the hillside of Norway’s second biggest city. Here, she took a crash course in how to be a social volunteer, focusing on its basic principle – to be a conversation catalyst between guests.

bergen2 - Trodel

Beautiful Bergen – photo credit: Jim Trodel

What does it involve?

Social volunteers organise activities for, and with, the hostel guests. This can be pretty much anything; from making free coffee and cookies in the afternoon creating a chance for people to speak to each other, to arranging canoe trips or city walks.

collage

Just some of Ximena’s amazing Norwegian experiences as a social volunteer.

No tasks undertaken by daily hostel staff are involved here, purely stretching your wings as a social butterfly.

“What I really love about this programme is that it is all about the people, to get the hostel guests to speak with each other and have fun together” – Ximena says.

One group went kayaking with me in Bergen, and this was an amazing experience which turned us all into a group of friends. That’s what I love! Also, being a social volunteer gives me the chance to choose what activities I think will work the best.”

From the day she landed in Bergen, Ximena fell in love with the Norwegian nature.

“The landscape, the mountains, the centre of Bergen – everything was so beautiful” Ximena describes her first meeting with Western Norway.

“In my home country, a similar culture of outdoor activity does not exist. Here I bike, go for hikes and swim together with the hostel guests. It’s fantastic!”


Sound good? If you’re interested in becoming a social volunteer with HI – Norway, or know someone who would be perfect for the role, visit www.volunteering.no for more information.

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

HI Newsletter

Don't miss out on great deals, discounts and travel tips. Create an account today and sign up for the monthly HI Newsletter.

Create an account